Kevin Harvick snatches thrilling Richmond victory

Kevin Harvick

Kevin Harvick

Kevin Harvick clinched a last-gasp victory in the Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond as Juan Pablo Montoya was denied his first NASCAR oval win.

Harvick capitalised on a late race caution with six laps to go which resulted in a green-white-checkered finish to beat Clint Bowyer and Joey Logano.

When the last caution was thrown Montoya had the lead from Harvick and seemed set to shake off his hoodoo but his crew decided to call him in for fresh tyres for the green-white-checkered finish.

Harvick had finished strongly, after taking second on fresher tyres with 20 laps to go from Kurt Busch before his crew rolled the dice.

“Sprint Cup racing is about taking chances. We’ve had some bad deals on tyres in the past and this one worked out,” Harvick said.

Montoya ended up fourth, slim pickings as he appeared to have the speed to hold out Harvick before the last caution.

“It was a no-brainer to take tyres. But then we had the outside for the restart and that’s what hurt us,” Montoya said.

A crucial moment in race when caution came out on lap 307 Kyle Busch led the front runners into the pits while his older brother Kurt stayed out with Carl Edwards and Matt Kenseth.

NASCAR officials reviewed a situation where they initially believed Kyle Busch had been outside the commitment line coming into the pits and determined they would not issue a penalty.

At the time Kyle Busch was in good shape but he eventually encountered problems later on and finished 24 with Kurt ninth.

Matt Kenseth (seventh), who led the most laps with 140, and team-mate Brian Vickers (35th) controlled the front quarter of the race apart from a short period where Bowyer briefly held the lead just before the first caution period.

By lap 185 Vickers was shuffled back to 22nd after spending most of the race dicing at the front and then was involved in a crash with Kasey Kahne and Mark Martin on lap 338.

Earlier in the race, the second of a race total of 11 caution periods was flown as a result of Marcos Ambrose loosing oil pressure. Ambrose slowed on the back straight then pitted from 13th on lap 109 before his Ford was pushed into the garage.

“This is so disappointing for us. It appears we’ve blown an engine.  We’ve had fantastic power from Ford Racing and Roush Yates Engines so we can’t complain,” Ambrose said.

“It’s just the racing gods aren’t on our side this year. We were fast tonight and ran top 10. We are proud of that and will have to regroup and go to Talladega.”

Bowyer had led on the restart from the Ambrose incident, just as he did following the restart at the third caution period called on lap 154, with Kenseth in second and Juan Montoya third.

The caution period was then prolonged because of a bizarre situation when the timer of the sprinkler system for the infield grass went off.

Richmond results

Pos Driver              Team/car Time/Gap
 1 Kevin Harvick Childress Chevrolet 3:18.17.000s
 2 Clint Bowyer Waltrip Toyota + 0.343s
 3 Joey Logano Penske Ford + 0.946s
 4 Juan Pablo Montoya Earnhardt Ganassi Chevrolet + 1.549s
 5 Jeff Burton Childress Chevrolet + 1.558s
 6 Carl Edwards Roush Fenway Ford + 1.742s
 7 Matt Kenseth Joe Gibbs Toyota + 2.190s
 8 Aric Almirola Petty Ford + 2.340s
 9 Kurt Busch Furniture Row Chevrolet + 2.371s
10 Dale Earnhardt jr Hendrick Chevrolet + 2.615s
11 Jeff Gordon Hendrick Chevrolet + 2.732s
12 Jimmie Johnson Hendrick Chevrolet + 2.765s
13 Paul Menard Childress Chevrolet + 2.900s
14 AJ Allmendinger Phoenix Chevrolet + 3.055s
15 Ryan Newman Stewart-Haas Chevrolet + 3.138s
16 Ricky Stenhouse jr Roush Fenway Ford + 3.242s
17 Martin Truex jr Waltrip Toyota + 3.416s
18 Tony Stewart Stewart-Haas Chevrolet + 3.497s
19 Bobby Labonte JTG Daugherty Toyota + 3.637s
20 David Ragan Front Row Ford + 3.673s
21 Kasey Kahne Hendrick Chevrolet + 3.887s
22 David Reutimann BK Toyota + 3.949s
23 Dave Blaney Baldwin Chevrolet + 4.153s
24 Kyle Busch Joe Gibbs Toyota + 4.636s
25 Landon Cassill Circle Sport Chevrolet + 4.657s
26 Jamie McMurray Earnhardt Ganassi Chevrolet + 5.525s
27 David Gilliland Front Row Ford + 1 lap
28 Josh Wise Front Row Ford + 2 laps
29 Danica Patrick Stewart-Haas Chevrolet + 4 laps
30 Casey Mears Germain Ford + 4 laps
31 David Stremme Swan Toyota + 4 laps
32 JJ Yeley Baldwin Chevrolet + 5 laps
33 Brad Keselowski Penske Ford + 7 laps
34 Timmy Hill FAS Lane Ford + 9 laps
35 Brian Vickers Joe Gibbs Toyota + 14 laps
36 Greg Biffle Roush Fenway Ford + 15 laps
37 Travis Kvapil BK Toyota + 38 laps
38 Mark Martin Waltrip Toyota + 57 laps
39 Joe Nemechek NEMCO-JRR Toyota 245 laps
40 Brian Keselowski Keselowski Toyota 186 laps
41 Michael McDowell Parsons Ford 121 laps
42 Marcos Ambrose Petty Ford 109 laps
43 Mike Bliss Humphrey Smith Toyota 17 laps

Standings after 9 of 36 rounds

Pos Driver Points
1 Jimmie Johnson 343
2 Carl Edwards 300
3 Kasey Kahne 297
4 Dale Earnhardt Jr. 297
5 Clint Bowyer 290
6 Brad Keselowski 284
7 Kyle Busch 278
8 Greg Biffle 272
9 Kevin Harvick 271
10 Paul Menard 271
11 Aric Almirola 258
12 Jamie McMurray 245
13 Matt Kenseth 241
14 Jeff Gordon 235
15 Martin Truex Jr. 231
16 Ryan Newman 229
17 Joey Logano 228
18 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. 224
19 Jeff Burton 218
20 Kurt Busch 216
21 Mark Martin 207
22 Tony Stewart 207
23 Marcos Ambrose 195
24 Juan Pablo Montoya 183
25 Casey Mears 183
26 Danica Patrick 169
27 Bobby Labonte 152
28 Denny Hamlin 145
29 Dave Blaney 145
30 David Ragan 145
31 David Reutimann 138
32 J.J. Yeley 135
33 David Gilliland 131
34 A.J. Allmendinger 122
35 David Stremme 114
36 Travis Kvapil 100
37 Landon Cassill 94
38 Michael McDowell 47
39 Terry Labonte 37
40 Scott Speed 35
41 Timmy Hill 34
42 Ken Schrader 29
43 Michael Waltrip 23
44 Scott Riggs 6
45 Brian Keselowski 4





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